The ICMSA has stated that the CAP Strategic Plan “does not represent the best that could have been achieved”.
Its president, Pat McCormack, said that the Cabinet signing-off on submitting the plan to the EU Commission “looked and felt premature” across a range of issues.
The farm leader believes the plan is “demonstrably incomplete” and claimed that neither data nor the farming community support it.
He said thousands of farmers are facing “considerable” losses under the proposed plan.
McCormack believes the plan needed more work and confirmed that ICMSA was willing to put that in.
“However, this schedule is in keeping with the whole atmosphere around our CAP, which stressed more appearance than substance.”
“It’s never going to be good enough to simply take a roadshow around the country’s marts explaining your position if there’s no real attempt at listening and acknowledging where people have real problems and are suggesting real solutions.”
The ICMSA president said there was a “rushed feel” to the Irish plan. As a result, he believes this meant that “really glaring anomalies and errors had to be either ‘fixed on the fly’ or simply go unchallenged”.
“There is so much wrong that farmers were nearly confused about where to start. To a certain degree – and as we have said before – much of this arises from the kind of unworkable retrofitting that happens when you try and repurpose a farming and food subsidy system into an environmental and climate change tool.”
He believes a “proper and responsive system” of engagement and listening could have identified and dealth with concerns.
“What we got instead was a briefing that just announced what had been decided. The consultation and engagement were very disappointing.”,
“The result is a flawed CAP for Ireland that will undoubtedly undermine our family farm model of farming”, he said.
ICMSA intends to engage with the EU Commission in the coming months. They aim to try and ameliorate the aspects of the plan they deem “most damaging” to Irish farming.